The bones of the frost wyrm fell, one by one, onto the cold floor, like dry leaves falling from a tree. They formed a small pile, decorated with slivers of ice and flecks of snow. The Guardian had been toppled – and before them lay –
Rhianon could see the hallway, the path beneath her snaking around corridors and stone pillars to a curved archway. Beyond that archway stood –
“I’ve seen this hallway before,” she heard Dacianna whisper, her voice barely above a murmur. “It was in my nightmare.”
They were before the Lich now and Rhianon turned to Dacianna. The paladin was trembling, her eyes wide. Rhianon took her arm and drew her close.
The Lich cackled, his bitter laughter rippling through the frozen air, and the shaman’s gaze fell on him, a boney shade of a man swathed in fine purple robes. Rhianon felt his eyes upon her, saw him raise a hand.
The air crackled with magic and she heard Dacianna scream.
And then all was darkness…
Rhianon sat up in bed, her body coated in a cool sweat. She took a deep breath and frowned, glancing over to the window. Outside, she could see the pale circle of the Azerothian moon hanging over the towers of Dalaran, a halo of fog over it. It was still nighttime.
The dream confused her. The night hadn’t ended like that at all. They had been successful, despite set-backs, and the Lich had been felled. It’s as if my mind has forgotten where Dacianna’s dream ends and reality begins.
In the paladin’s nightmare, now over two months old, they had not come away victorious. Rhianon remembered how Dacianna wept as she recounted the dream, telling the shaman how her dream-self watched the Lich kill Rhianon, sharing the unbearable sorrow and fear that had permeated the dream. The paladin had been convinced that the vision was bound to come true – just as her dream of the fall of Shattrath had come true.
“But it didn’t come true,” Rhianon whispered. “We won. I’m okay.”
She slunk out of bed, her legs trembling. Dreams were important; Sage Nastah would count her a fool if she ignored them. He had, however, also taught her that dreams didn’t always reveal themselves clearly. The truth had to be discerned, unearthed from the fragments of reality, emotion and fear that gave dreams substance. “I tried to explain that to Dacianna…that we had to find what the dream was really about,” Rhianon murmured to herself, padding across the chilly marble floor of her room.
“I thought it was about her fears. Her fear of failing, of death…of losing me.”
She reached the dresser on the other side of the room and ran her hands down the gnarled wood surface. The shaman then pulled open a drawer, retrieving a thin envelope. She spilled the envelope’s contents into her hand. A single candy heart stared up at her from her palm, still pink and bright despite its age.
The line ‘I will follow you all across Azeroth’ was printed clumsily across the face of the candy. She had gotten two of them during recent celebrations; this heart’s mate now rested in Dacianna’s possession. Rhianon’s hand folded around the heart, holding it tightly.
“When you resolve the issues in a dream,” the shaman whispered, the hand clutching the candy heart close to her chest, “it stops coming to you. The dream should have stopped. But now – I’m the one getting it and it’s mixed up with what really happened that night.”
She sighed and opened her hand, placing the candy back in the envelope. She then stowed the envelope in the drawer, closed it, and retreated back to her bed. The shaman pulled the bed linens around her, her eyes closed in thought.
“I missed something important in that dream. Dacianna knew that; that’s why she had trouble accepting my explanation.” The shaman rolled onto her side, planting her cheek into the soft pillow. “Now the dream is making sure that I figure out what it was that I missed.”
Something Darlain had said to her, a line that Rhianon had almost forgotten, echoed in her head.
‘The Old Gods whisper to ye…make ye want to murder yer friends…“kill them all before they kill you,” they say…’
Rhianon opened her eyes, countless thoughts racing through her mind. “What if,” she whispered, her voice reverberating in the empty room, “that dream was a warning sent by the Light? A warning that something or someone is going to try to tear me from Daci?”
“Or maybe,” she added, “it’s a whisper from one of the Old Gods…”
She looked up at the cracks in the ceiling, suddenly feeling very small and lonely in the creaky old bed.
I wish you were here.